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Ask An Atlanta Career Coach - Keywords on Your Resume

Ask An Atlanta Career Coach - Keywords on Your ResumeKeywords drive search results. Search results drive who and what will be selected for further review. This further review can be an interview or a sales call that can lead to a new position or revenue opportunity.

The importance of keywords cannot be overstated. In job search they drive your:

  • LinkedIn search results
  • Success in moving through Applicant Tracking Systems (online resume submissions)
  • The language in your resumes
  • The key factors hiring managers are using to identify and evaluate potential talent

To get started on how to use key words to your advantage, our Charlotte and Atlanta career coaches at The Frontier Group advise our clients to do the following:

  • Create a master list of keywords that appear in job descriptions and LinkedIn profiles for people that have similar backgrounds to your own and any other accepted industry source
  • Look for the common phrases, descriptions and terminology used
  • Test out keyword search terms using Boolean logic to determine what keywords are necessary to drive optimum results

It is also important to think about keywords in your resume that are used in the Skills or Professional Summary section. This is where you can list out all of the key skills that define you and the value you can provide. This is where you want to list specifics - not generalities. Examples of what to do and not do are:

Do This

  • Mass/Food/Drug/Club sales
  • Wal*Mart category captain
  • Retail Link fluent
  • Salesforce.com fluent

Not This

  • Sales leader
  • Team builder
  • Quota achiever

You can see from the example above that the recommended keywords spell out specific skills that will make it easy for the recruiting manager to identify what your strengths are. The not recommended list will not get you the results you want since nobody ever does a Google search looking for a "sales leader." They will, however, search for someone who has led a successful Wal*Mart sales team.